This ancient Greek vessel, typically made of stone or marble, was used for ritual purification. The perirrhanterion was often found in sanctuaries and was used for sprinkling water, which was a common practice before worshippers entered a sacred space, or before priests and priestesses performed their religious duties.

The specific perirrhanterion shown in the image is a stone basin supported by three figures, which appears to be of the classical period, given its style and form. The figures are karyatids, female figures serving as architectural supports, taking the place of traditional columns. Each karyatid stands in a stiff, frontal pose that is characteristic of ancient Greek sculpture, with their draped garments clinging to their bodies in a manner that reveals the underlying form—a technique known as "wet drapery."

The figures are carved with attention to detail, indicating the high level of skill and artistry that ancient Greek sculptors achieved. The karyatids have a serene and solemn expression, which is typical of the period's idealized representation of the human form. Their hairstyles and the folds of their garments are rendered in a way that suggests both movement and a sense of gravity.

Above the karyatids is an overhanging ledge, which may have functioned as a protective element for the basin below. The basin itself would have held water, and there may have been additional elements such as a tripod or other items used during the purification rituals.

The perirrhanterion held a significant role in the ritual practices of ancient Greece. Purification was a vital aspect of Greek religion, as it was believed to cleanse individuals of miasma, or ritual pollution. Water from sacred springs, especially those associated with healing gods like Apollo, was considered particularly potent.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi
Delphi, Sacred Way